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Silent electric bike helps police keep the peace

  • Cool electric bike to help Californian police department fight crime
  • Zero DS has top speed of 55 mph and recharges in four hours
  • Police forces around the world taking orders for all types of electric vehicles

(CNN) -- They might not be the first police force to add an electric vehicle to their fleet, but Scotts Valley Police Department in California surely has one of the most stylish.

The Zero DS motorcycle is part trail, part road bike and has a top speed of 55 miles per hour, which might not make it so useful in a high-speed pursuit.

But what it lacks in horsepower it more than makes up for in stealth.

Powered by a lithium-ion battery (which takes four hours to recharge) the bike hardly makes a sound -- thus allowing police to exercise their own right to silence before uttering a similar sentence to law-breakers.

Police departments all over the world are embracing all manner of electric vehicles, recognizing their duty of care to the environment as well as to the citizens of the streets they patrol.

One of the more popular electric models to hit the market in recent years is the T3, manufactured by California-based T3 Motion.

The three-wheel stand-up bike has proved popular not only with police forces but also with security companies and the military.

The zero emissions trike affords drivers an elevated platform giving them wide visibility and "a commanding presence," say its manufacturers.

Maneuverable yet sturdy, the T3 has found a home with police departments in the Middle East, North America, Europe and Asia.

Another electric car that a law enforcement force might be happy to have in its fleet is BMW's Electric MINI, which has been styled by German tuning company, AC Schnitzer.

Unveiled at the Essen Motor Show, Germany at the end of 2010, the design was part of a safety initiative by Germany's Federal Transport Ministry. Sadly, the car isn't available yet.

Carl Archambeault imagines his "Scarab" concept as an eco-friendly accomplice in combating crime.

The three-wheeled remotely controlled electric vehicle is aimed at helping police in high-speed chases, not only to reduce the amount of manpower needed to catch criminals, but also to cut down injuries and fatalities that pursuits cause.


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